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Exploiting Orlando

I wasn’t going to post anything like this until tomorrow, but the sickening quality of the post-Orlando reaction is simply overwhelming, and is a story in and of itself:

Omar Mateen was born in America. He is an American. This is scapegoating.

Hillary found her own customary scapegoat, which Charles C.W. Cooke called her out on:

President Obama put his own political spin on the massacre. From John Podhoretz’s column: [4]

change_me

Omar Mateen called the cops to pledge his fealty to ISIS as he was carrying out his mass murderer in Orlando early Sunday morning. Twelve hours later, the president of the United States declared that “we have no definitive assessment on the motivation” of Omar Mateen but that “we know he was a person filled with hate.” So I guess the president thinks Mateen didn’t mean it? Here again, and horribly, we have an unmistakable indication that Obama finds it astonishingly easy to divorce himself from a reality he doesn’t like — the reality of the Islamist terror war against the United States and how it is moving to our shores in the form of lone-wolf attacks.

More:

So determined is the president to avoid the subject of Islamist, ISIS-inspired or ISIS-directed terrorism that he concluded his remarks with an astonishing insistence that “we need the strength and courage to change” our attitudes toward the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. That’s just disgusting. There’s no other word for it. America’s national attitude toward LGBT people didn’t shoot up the Pulse nightclub. This country’s national attitude has undergone a sea-change in the past 20 years, by the way, in case the president hasn’t noticed.

Despite the inconvenient facts that the mass killer was a Muslim Democrat who pledged allegiance to ISIS, a transgendered ACLU staff lawyer [5] reminds his flock who the REAL enemy is — conservative Christians and Republicans:

Jeffrey Goldberg, bless him, makes an obvious point that’s astonishingly not obvious to very many people:

I expect the emerging story from the Left will be it’s all the fault of conservative Christians and the NRA, because the Left will not be able to bear the tension between two of its favorite causes: fighting “homophobia” and fighting “Islamophobia.”

From the Right the story will be, “Muslims! It’s the Muslims!” And they will have something of a point, especially as things like this come out, via Florida Today [8]. According to a former co-worker of Mateen’s:

Gilroy, a former Fort Pierce police officer, said Mateen frequently made homophobic and racial comments. Gilroy said he complained to his employer several times but it did nothing because he was Muslim. Gilroy quit after he said Mateen began stalking him via multiple text messages — 20 or 30 a day. He also sent Gilroy 13 to 15 phone messages a day, he said.

“I quit because everything he said was toxic,” Gilroy said Sunday, “and the company wouldn’t do anything. This guy was unhinged and unstable. He talked of killing people.”

If it is true that the employers would not take action against Mateen because they feared being called Islamophobic, then that is damning — to them and their judgment. It reveals the peril of political correctness.

But here’s the thing: there will never be a way to stop lone wolves like Mateen. Blaming all the Muslims in America for this atrocity is unjust and dangerous. I don’t know that anybody in this country, left or right, has the ability to restrain themselves.

You probably have your own fears, but I believe that some on the Left will use this as a kind of Reichstag fire, to justify further cracking down on free speech, and demonizing Christians. I hope I’m wrong. I don’t think I will be.

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194 Comments To "Exploiting Orlando"

#1 Comment By DancerGirl On June 13, 2016 @ 6:52 pm

And the only reason he was ever in the country to begin with was the longtail effects of lax immigration policies decades old. This is supposed to be an argument for mass Muslim immigration…that the real risk is the second generation “home grown” radicals?

Trump’s right. Part of the solution is never letting the parents into the country in the first place.

The majority of deaths in mass shootings, post-9/11, have been caused by individuals who were inspired by radical Islamism. This did not become true until Orlando. (Speaking of numbers, if the AR-15 had been equipped with a smaller capacity magazine, he probably wouldn’t have been able to murder quite so many people. Asking for this type of regulation is not the same thing as taking away anyone’s guns. Rather, it simply forces the SOBs who would use them to cause mass destruction to slow down and reload. Might save some lives. No constitutional right is absolute, and any rational discussion about the Second Amendment would concede that fact.)

It is also true that the overwhelming majority of the perpetrators involved in mass shootings, post-9/11, were white men — in particular, white men who were right-wing terrorists. In other words, based on frequency, it is infinitely more likely that a white man, rather than a man espousing radical Islam, will commit a mass shooting.

So, if excluding Muslims in the first place is the way to ensure that the next generation of their families can never pose a threat, how does one solve the problem of young, angry white men who are far, far more likely to commit a mass shooting? Based on the above logic, that would entail mass expulsion of all white people, mass expulsion of white male conservatives, or at the very least, vastly increased profiling of white men or white male conservatives.

Presumably, the solutions I have put forward re: the problem of white, male mass shooters are manifestly ludicrous. Hopefully, they are ludicrous because they represent uncritical demonization of an entire group, and not because it is definitionally absurd to treat white people — as opposed to others — in this way.

Finally, I will point out these things: if we had banned Muslims in the past, Americans would not be able to lay claim to: (1) the intraventricular catheter system which is used to deliver chemotherapy to the brain (invented by a Pakistani-born neurosurgeon); (2) various Nobel Prize winners; (3) the architectural innovations that made skyscrapers like the Sears Tower or, ironically, the Trump International Hotel, possible (invented by a Bangladeshi-born immigrant); or (4) the ice cream cone, invented by a Syrian Muslim immigrant during the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Among many other contributions. And speaking of Syrians, since Trump wants to ban immigrants from any part of the world which terrorists might call home (that actually means the entire world, but he, of course, would only apply the restriction to the entire Muslim world), he’s the wanna-be President who would have banned the immigration of Steve Jobs’ Syrian-refugee biological dad.

There is a way to be smart, rational, unrelenting, and tough. Donald Trump’s approach is ignorant, ill-informed, beneath contempt, and would put us at substantially greater risk of attack. (And for anyone who thinks that Obama’s failure to use the “proper” terminology has undermined our ability to take the fight to the terrorists, I’ll just point out that on his watch, bin Ladin was killed, thousands of extremists have been killed in drone strikes, and multiple plots have been disrupted here, often in cooperation with the Muslim community that Trump so viciously slurs). Pounding your chest is not a strategy. It’s just a good way to get Americans killed.

#2 Comment By Sands On June 13, 2016 @ 7:06 pm

Defending the rights of minority religions — even when they’re icky — isn’t going to give power to Muslims, but it will keep politicized Christianity away from power.

No it won’t. Have you not noticed the rise of right wing political parties in Europe and Trump here in the US? Two terrorists attacks in Paris and a couple here committed by disgruntled members of a minority religion have done nothing but helped what you fear.

I’m not a believer either, but I don’t fear Christianity. It’s our religious tradition in this country. Hell, it’s the religious tradition of Western civilization, so it’s a stretch to claim that Christianity is incompatible with our values. The same cannot be said for Islam. In your (the left’s) attempt to keep “politicized Christianity” at bay, you’re just making more radicals all around. Way can’t you see that diversity creates conflict?

#3 Comment By Sands On June 13, 2016 @ 7:24 pm

Say what you will about Bill Maher, but he’s at least consistent on this issue.

#4 Comment By Michael Heraklios On June 13, 2016 @ 7:42 pm

Janwaar Bibi:

Listen, I am an American, born and raised. I’m also Muslim.

Now, I am sorry what happened to you and your people, and I have no qualms about saying that the Muslims in those countries that you mentioned who persecuted people such as yourself are scum of the highest order.

But that’s not my problem. That’s THEIR problem, and I’m not going to apologize for something I didn’t do.

And I’m certainly not going to tolerate a bunch of immigrants coming here to this country and suddenly demanding that restrictions be placed on Muslims already here. Restricting immigration from certain Muslim countries is an idea that I actually agree with, but the idea that all Muslims in the West or America are of the same persuasion as those ignorant morons you dealt with back home is simply not true.

And you yourself are the perfect example of the phenomenon I was talking about; I’ve seen many of your other posts, and your use of language and the way you carry yourself makes it seem that you have a personal animus against Islam due to specific trauma that you or your loved ones faced at the hands of Islamist fanatics.

Once again, I’m sorry, but like I said, what happened to you and your people is not my fault, and I don’t have to pay for it.

#5 Comment By DancingGirl On June 13, 2016 @ 8:04 pm

DancingGirl:
… more attacks by radicalized whites have occurred since 9/11, but the death toll from jihadis is higher;

Is this true? I have heard of very few attacks by radicalized whites since 9/11.

Hi Annek,

Based on the data I have seen, yes.

This first link looks at attacks committed by radicals after 9/11, and of the 28 events identified, 18 were committed by white men.

[9]

Consider, as well, this short report re: the considerably greater growth of right-wing extremism in the US in recent years, as opposed to jihadist extremism.

[10]

This next link looks at mass shootings generally between 1982 and 2012, and of the 62 events identified, 44 were committed by white men. The underlying data on which the report relies is provided in the analysis.

[11]

Now, there are fair critiques and caveats to be offered re: this report by Mother Jones. First, various researchers debate the definition of a mass shooting: MJ uses the “4 dead, not including the shooter if he/she would be number 4” criterion; others used the 4-dead-or-injured criterion; etc. Second, MJ excludes gang shootings, armed robberies, and the like. That’s problematic, as noted by James Alan Fox, a noted scholar who studied mass shootings. Even though he critiqued MJ’s methodology, he agrees with the notion that the profile of a mass murderer is a white male who, among other characteristics, has access to a powerful weapon, usually, a gun.

[12]

I hope that helps!

#6 Comment By VikingLS On June 13, 2016 @ 8:50 pm

“Will a left-liberal here please explain the left’s love for Islam? Even moderate Muslims, who would never dream of murdering someone, condemn homosexuality just as much as strict Christian fundamentalists.”

The few people here who have commented haven’t addressed this and its the heart of the question and it’s one of the reasons people look at you as REALLY hypocritical. Don’t explain the love, explain the double standard.

My theory is that you just don’t expect much from brown people, hence the liberal tolerance for homophobia in the black church.

Lowered expectations is how liberals do racism.

#7 Comment By Eliavy On June 13, 2016 @ 8:56 pm

“I’m not religious, so that sets the table. Muslims and their beliefs don’t seem too different to me from Christians or Jews. You guys all worship the same god, and you all read the old testament and the Christians and Muslims consider Jesus a prophet, but the Jews do not. And then we have Mormons, who have added their own ending to the Torah. From my view all religions are a little silly.

“I think that Americans are free to have their religions, and they are free to not have them. I just don’t see the rational basis for concluding that one religion is better or worse than the next, and that Islam is not hugely different from Christianity or Judaism.”

There are some very large differences between Judaism, Christianity, Mormonism, and Islam. They primarily center around the person of Jesus and the nature of God. The variances are very deep. The only real similarity between them is that they’re monotheistic (although Judaism and Christianity are closely linked).

Christians do not consider Jesus a prophet. Jesus is God in human form and part of the Trinity and the merciful means by which humans are rescued from the consequences of all their sin. Jesus has always been part of the Godhood.

Islam considers Jesus a prophet. Muslims tend to think that Christians are polytheists because of a misunderstanding of the Trinity. There are more differences than that, but this is the biggest one. Muslims do not believe that Jesus died and was resurrected, nor do they believe that he is the instrument by which God gives forgiveness of sins.

Judaism tends to view Jesus as a teacher who was executed for speaking out against the Romans and falsely claimed to be the Messiah.

Mormons believe that Jesus worked his way up to godhood. He is the first son of God and his spirit wife. Lucifer is his brother. God had physical sex with Mary to bring Jesus into the world in his physical form. Jesus’ death only atoned for Adam’s sin and everyone is responsible for his own perfection, although everyone will go to one of three levels of heaven. If one is a good Mormon, he will be exalted into godhood.

(If I have misrepresented a religion’s basic views on Jesus here, my sincere apologies as it was not intended.)

I would say that the criteria for judging one religion better than another would be:
1) Which one is true? All religions counter each other in truth claims in one fashion or another, so if any is true, all others are false.
2) Which ones produce a more moral people? What does the ideal hero of a religion do?

#8 Comment By Glaivester On June 13, 2016 @ 9:04 pm

JonF:Re (Noah172): I noted this in a thread yesterday: immigration is not just about immigrants, but their descendants — in perpetuity.

In which case it’s hard to see how any of us can be citizens since we all have immigrant roots.

Noah172 did not say that immigrants could not be citizens or could not be Americans, nor did he divide us into immigrants and non-immigrants. What he said is that immigration policy is responsible not just for who we bring into the country, but for those begotten by those whom we bring into the country. That Omar Mateen is here is a result of our immigration policy.

More broadly, when deciding from which countries we wish to import people, we ought to consider what the overall record is of the children and grandchildren of people from those countries, and not just look at whether or not the zeroth generation immigrants have a goo track record.

#9 Comment By Rich S On June 13, 2016 @ 9:07 pm

Aaron Gross says:

OK, here’s my ideological exploitation of the event:

No assault weapons => possibly fewer deaths

No immigration for his Muslim parents => certainly no attack

Cute but incomplete 🙂

No assault weapons:
Pros:
– Possibly fewer deaths at Pulse. (I’d argue it’s probable not just possible)
– Fewer deaths at other mass shootings.
Cons:
– People can’t hunt with AR-15s.
– People can’t use AR-15s for “self defence”. They can still use handguns, which seem to be far more useful in a self defense situation.

No immigration for his Muslim parents:

Pros:
– No Omar Mateen, and therefore no deaths at Pulse.

Cons:
– Society sanctions the idea that treating someone differently purely on the basis of their religion is acceptable. In 2030, President Chelsea Clinton (2030) signs the Love In Jesus act prohibiting the immigration of traditional Christians.
– Reduced immigration decreases the number of workers, imperiling the social net as the white population continues to gray.

Speculation, but… 🙂

#10 Comment By GSS On June 13, 2016 @ 9:19 pm

I don’t believe any of the terms being used capture what is actually going on here: this is not merely a tragedy, or terrorism, or an act of homophobia. This event fits into a pattern of perpetual domestic conflict that has been ramping up over the years; the best term for it is 4th Generation Warfare – [13]

The distinction is important because it helps explain the decentralized conflict afflicting Americans, particularly in urban areas. Low intensity (but constant) conflict, primarily civilian combatants, intensive propaganda (just look at this particular event), guerrilla tactics, and marginalized victims. The armed aspects are interspersed with political conflict and psychological warfare, with a purpose of dividing the populace. No, I’m not not a looney-tune conspiracy nut … I’m just connecting dots, applying logic and trying to use the appropriate terms for what we’re seeing.

Those who blame ISIS, or Christians, or gays, or gun owners, etc etc … that’s to be expected in a fractured culture. Used to be Americans, whether liberal or conservative, Christian or other, could identify w/ a general value system as developed under English common law & natural law theory. No longer. Instead, we’ve been conditioned for several decades to be multi-cultural, with all belief systems created equal, and considered equally valid. Review any (ANY!) nation-state that tracked down that multi-cultured path, and you’ll find it in the junkyard of former nations. Think Yugoslavia.

My prayers go out to the families of those lost in this latest conflict. Unfortunately there’s more conflict to come … we must steel ourselves, and confront the brute realities that face this country.

#11 Comment By VikingLS On June 13, 2016 @ 10:16 pm

Muslims represent about 1.5% of the US population according to the most recent Religion and American life poll from Pew if I remember it correctly.

So yes the idea that the US is going to be living under Shar’ia law is ridiculous. However it also means that incidences of Islamic terror as opposed to those of other groups is VASTLY disproportionate even if there wasn’t a pretty effective violent Islamic political movement, which there is.

I have been teaching Muslims for years and have lived in heavily Muslim neighborhood in Russia and in a Muslim country. The thing that I find ironic about the way the political factions in the us react to Islam is that liberals bend over backwards to accept Islam even though culturally it has little in common with their values, and that many conservatives are very Islamophobic even though many Muslims have a great deal in common with them.

This is my take on the Saudis, one of the most strictly Islamic people on Earth.

You average Saudi man loves football (albeit the one we call soccer) driving 4-wheel drives up gullies, male-bonding, grilling out, hanging out with his relatives, and if he can get to the water, fishing. He loves and somewhat fears his father and grandfather, reveres his mother and grandmother, and is protective of his siblings.

Most of the Saudi women I know, and I’ve known more than a few, remind me a lot of southern women (Pentecostals in particular) who some just won’t come around to the idea that they’re oppressed.

Now I many be channeling Phil Robertson a little, but I’ve never personally had a Muslim be anything other than respectful of my faith in the real world (online is another thing). I can not say the same thing about either liberals or protestants.

I think Trump is wrong on the immigration ban (which I don’t see happening considering how close our connection with the Saudis is anyway) but I find it ironic that liberals are so determined to import more people who culturally are remarkably similar to the WWC people they despise as obviously either open or closet bigots.

#12 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On June 13, 2016 @ 10:32 pm

Viking, I can only speak from the left, not for the liberals. I can say that I learned from black churches to have some respect for the viewpoint that maybe homosexuality is not so wholesome and acceptable as has been promulgated. I am indeed bemused by the fact that no Democrat or liberal has EVER questioned the use of sacred music in the programs of Prince George’s County public schools (Maryland). But for very practical reasons, the population of that same county would never THINK of voting Republican.

I have addressed the “love for Islam” in a more recent post, but in a nutshell, it stems from the gross mislocations of Mao Zedong’s call for “workers of the world to unite with oppressed nations.” It was bad enough that it put Maoist parties into alliance with the Shah of Iran, the CIA, and the apartheid regime in South Africa. No, most American post-radical yuppies didn’t grasp the nuances, but they picked up some emotive implications. Lenin knew better that to accept a Pan-Islamic movement as a national liberation front.

#13 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On June 13, 2016 @ 10:37 pm

Mateen broke the record for 1) single assailant 2) with firearms. Note both conditions. There have been plenty of deadlier attacks with multiple assailants or different means.

Well, that makes him a bigger fish in a smaller pond. Noah, you just undermined a lot of headlines which have made much broader and more startling claims.

#14 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On June 13, 2016 @ 11:03 pm

Dancergirl writes “if we had banned Muslims in the past, Americans would not be able to lay claim to: (1) the intraventricular catheter system which is used to deliver chemotherapy to the brain (invented by a Pakistani-born neurosurgeon); (2) various Nobel Prize winners; (3) the architectural innovations that made skyscrapers like the Sears Tower or, ironically, the Trump International Hotel, possible (invented by a Bangladeshi-born immigrant); or (4) the ice cream cone, invented by a Syrian Muslim immigrant during the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.”

What are the “various Nobel prizes” won by American Muslims? Ahmed Zewail from Caltech won the prize in Chemistry and he is from Egypt. As far as I know, he is the only US Muslim to have won a Nobel.

There is another complication you have overlooked. An amazing proportion of US Nobels have actually been won by Jews, but when the Muslim population in a country increases, they drive out the Jews. We are seeing this unfold in France, Sweden and other European countries. Why would you want to lose all these (real) Nobel Prize winners for the sake of your “various Nobel prizes” (actually, a grand total of one)?

Finally, there are many people who claim to have invented the ice-cream cone. Ernest Halawi from Syria was just one of them, but as far as I can tell, he was Christian.

[14]

Why do people like you and Obama feel compelled to make up this kind of stuff?

#15 Comment By Isidore the Farmer On June 13, 2016 @ 11:31 pm

“My theory is that you just don’t expect much from brown people, hence the liberal tolerance for homophobia in the black church.”

That may be. I’m slowly coming to believe that the secular left’s seeming antipathy to religion over the last few decades was actually just a very particular antipathy towards Christianity / Christians masquerading as enlightened secularism. Deep down, they mostly just dislike Christinity / Christians, not ‘organized religion’. And the rampant double standard comes into play most clearly with the comparison to Islam, making it plain their disdain ultimately was not about specific moral or theological issues – it was always more personal than that. I could be wrong….just an opinion that’s been shaping in recent months.

As I sarcastically stated on a separate post, we can surely now expect the LGBT community and their secular supporters to start filing lawsuits against many Muslim cake decorators and photographers just any day now, as they courageously did against a number of mom-and-pop shops around the country.

In seriousness though, most on the left will continue in their hypocrisy / dishonesty. But, it might actually be interesting to see how the LGBT activists respond over the next 12-18 months. Will their desire to virtue-signal result in their suicidal support of a large volume of Muslim immigration, or will they deviate from the general left on at least this one issue?

#16 Comment By Isidore the Farmer On June 13, 2016 @ 11:39 pm

Also, the theme of first-generation immigrants expressing shock that their second-generation children could do this is a legitimate problem. Furthermore, the FBI looked at this guy at least once, presumably much more closely than immigration screeners review incoming migrants.

The seeming trouble to assimilate, mixed with the obvious screening challenges, mixed with the now obvious display of the limits of diversity really makes our Invade The World-Invite The World policies look dumber and dumber…

But ideologues must obey their ideology, I suppose.

#17 Comment By Reinhold On June 14, 2016 @ 12:27 am

“While Omar may have been born in America it doesn’t sound like he was Americanized.”
There is nothing more American than Omar Mateen’s selfies. Bro poses in Muslim dress. Tough guy jawline in NYPD t-shirt.
The vogue for Islamism among 2nd-generation Muslims in Western countries probably has as much to do with resenting how much they’ve assimilated as with failing to assimilate.

#18 Comment By Ragnvaldr On June 14, 2016 @ 12:31 am

Seeing that Boston, Orlando, etc were all Americans…what kind of hate is the Leftist social agenda teaching in schools?

I think that’s a reasonable question since all others aren’t allowed.

I was watching the ducks and geese on the pond the other day. Noticed how they might be on the same lake, but choose to segregate. Then I wondered what might happen at a zoo if all the animals were put into a nice big cage of diversity.

I suspect competition for resources would increase, along with vetting out food chain dominance. Least the ducks and geese were similar enough to avoid conflict, even though they do squabble a bit over space.

To think people are any different is a bit insane, but that’s the world today. Insane.

#19 Comment By Reinhold On June 14, 2016 @ 12:50 am

“Obama’s attack on guns was really an attack on gun owners, especially committed gun owners.”
Because liberals are too corporate and too imperialist to take on gun producers. Why would the world’s foremost arms dealer ever limit the kind and quantity of guns produced by munitions capitalists? It’s like mass surveillance: why change our foreign policy when we can just shred the 4th Amendment?

#20 Comment By Johnny Alamo On June 14, 2016 @ 1:13 am

I am in favor of a deeper level of background investigation for the purchase of a clone military rifle. I am in favor or eliminating however possible magazines for these rifles with a capacity of over ten rounds. I am in favor of a fourteen-day waiting period from date of purchase to date of receipt of these battle rifle purchases, longer if the background investigation warrants. We need to have a one-strike-and-you’re-out policy towards anyone attempting to purchase a battle rifle if they have any history of criminal activity, mental illness, spousal abuse, anger management issues, or espousal of any Saudi-Wahhabi-like worldview. This deep background check and waiting period will only affect those who plan to publically buy a weapon on a weekend so they can kill people shortly after, but if it stops one mass shooting that will be worth the effort. Yes, I am a gun owner and user and a teacher of marksmanship, and I have no problem with these restrictions, nor do I see them as any sort of slippery-slope to gun confiscation. I used to be an NRA member, but one day realized they did not need my few dollars per year, because the gun industry gives them all the funding they need.

#21 Comment By Craig On June 14, 2016 @ 7:32 am

Unfortunately, too many people would rather react emotionally, than think and respond rationally. Thinking is just so hard… simplistic answers are so much more satisfying.

#22 Comment By M. F. Bonner On June 14, 2016 @ 7:54 am

“The Gosnell case, then, has direct implications for public policy being made right now in Virginia. Unfortunately for abortion rights water-carriers (supporters)in American newsrooms, the ghoulish realities of Gosnell undermine the story they would prefer to tell, and the political outcome they would prefer to see.”

Is the comment above really that much different from using a mass shooting to raise questions about public policy on guns?

Seems to me, if we are going to call this exploitation (and to an extent, it surely is, just as using anecdotes to draw a broader case for or against something probably always has an element of exploitation), it isn’t just tragedies involving guns that are exploited in an effort to get public policy changes people want.

I often find the similarities between gun opponents and abortion opponents to be surprising.

They even propose similar legislation:

Mandatory waiting periods
Restrictions on certain procedures/weapons

#23 Comment By M. F. Bonner On June 14, 2016 @ 8:31 am

Will a left-liberal here please explain the left’s love for Islam? Even moderate Muslims, who would never dream of murdering someone, condemn homosexuality just as much as strict Christian fundamentalists.

I don’t know if I fully qualify to answer this. Most of my “right wing” friends view me as too “left wing” and most of my “left wing” friends view me as too “right wing.”

What is this evidence of a “love of Islam” on the left.

Treating Islam as a religion with both good and bad followers, just like Christianity is a religion with both good and bad followers. Muslims who engage in terrorist acts or criminal activity should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, whether they are immigrants or born here, just as Christians who engage in terrorist acts or criminal activity should be, whether they are immigrants or born here. Not preferential treatment, only equal treatment.

Wanting to separate the bad acts of individuals of a religious group from the acts of the law abiding majority, whether the religion is Islam, Christianity, or any other doesn’t require a love of any of the religions involved.

Not wanting to ban immigration to the US by Muslims just because of their religion, just like we shouldn’t ban immigration of Christians to the US just because of their religion. Just like not wanting to ban immigration of Jew to the US just because of their religion, which many advocated as recently as the early 20th Century? At the same time, I would not want Muslim immigrants receiving preferential treatment either. Their treatment in the immigration system should be the same as any other group. We should take into consideration refugee status or any other status just as we would for any other group. And we should continue to screen immigrant seeking refugee status as vigorously as possible.

Not wanting to ban the building of an Islamic house of worship or cemetery on land where we wouldn’t ban the building of a Christian house of worship or cemetery? Again, not preferential treatment. And, if a Christian cemetery or house of worship would be prohibited on a specific plot of land, so should an Islamic house of worship or cemetery. There is no reason the Islamic house of worship or cemetery should receive preferential treatment, only equal treatment.

“I mean, a Muslim owned bakery isn’t going to want to participate in a gay wedding either.”

And if that happens in a state where there is an antidiscrimination law that includes sexual orientation, they might very well be sued. Unless Republican and Democrats are prepared to sit down together and work out a compromise between the Equality Act and the First Amendment Defense Act. Now I admit to a certain bias here, there are elements of both that I would like to see enacted and elements of both I would like to see not enacted. Neither side has the votes to get their legislation passed alone, the only way to get parts of either one is to sit down and negotiate. Neither would get everything they want, nor should they.

“The only explanation I can come up with is, most Muslims tend to be darker than people of Northern European descent.”

Seems to me that there are more Christians in this country who are “darker than people of European descent” than there are Muslims in this country who are “darker than people of European descent.”

#24 Comment By DancingGirl On June 14, 2016 @ 9:15 am

Janwaar Bibi – Give it a rest. Multiple sites online said the guy who invented the ice cream cone was a Syrian Muslim, and the one on which I relied was legitimate.

Re: the Nobel Prize thing, you’re right, I made a mistake. Rather than accusing me of lying, though, maybe give me the benefit of the doubt? Why in the world would I come here and lie, for heaven’s sakes? What’s the upside?

Seriously, way to miss the basic point, which was to say that Muslims have made wonderful contributions to our community. Acknowledging this fact does not require me to ignore or undervalue the contributions of other groups, and efforts to diminish the value of what they added are petty, dishonest, and small.

#25 Comment By Noah172 On June 14, 2016 @ 9:22 am

Noah, you just undermined a lot of headlines which have made much broader and more startling claims

Well, sure, people are imprecise in their language. Reminds me of the “47%” discussion four years ago: a lot of people owing nothing for one category of tax, federal personal income (and mostly for lawful and politically popular reasons), morphed into “Half the country pays no taxes!”

I look at Mateen’s record-setting differently than you do: that he racked up that many casualties all by his lonesome, and without bombs (and without a true fully auto rifle — AR15 is semi), is IMO rather remarkable.

#26 Comment By Jerry On June 14, 2016 @ 11:57 am

Sands says:

Have you not noticed the rise of right wing political parties in Europe and Trump here in the US? Two terrorists attacks in Paris and a couple here committed by disgruntled members of a minority religion have done nothing but helped what you fear.

Joining in on the backlash is no way to prevent the backlash. I am all in favor of a firm crackdown on terrorism. I’m all in favor of Muslim groups renouncing violence. I agree, Islamic terrorism tends to produce intolerant backlashes — which is exactly what the terrorists want to produce. Defending a free society requires both fighting the terrorists and resisting the paranoid impulse to give up our free society.

Scapegoating all Muslims is not going to do anything to prevent terrorism — it will just weaken American constitutional protections for religious freedom, which will eventually reduce the religious freedoms of non-Muslims … including, most likely, members of many Christian denominations.

Why can’t you see that diversity creates conflict?

Dude, I am the diversity that I’m trying to protect here. The “America is a Christian country” crowd are the ones who want to make me, an atheist, a second-class citizen. I’ve been physically threatened by American Christians for being an atheist on a few occasions, but Muslims have never even been rude to me. The overwhelming majority of mass shootings on American soil are committed by white American conservatives of putatively Christian backgrounds. I would say that I personally am in far more danger from the Christian Right than radical Islam.

Going whole hog for the notion that America is a country primarily for Christians, and that Christians therefore deserve special privileges and consideration from the government, will be a disaster for people of all other religious views, atheist, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, or whatever.

#27 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On June 14, 2016 @ 12:29 pm

Least the ducks and geese were similar enough to avoid conflict, even though they do squabble a bit over space

Actually, competition is usually more intense between highly similar species. Take whatever lesson you feel like from that….

Reduced immigration decreases the number of workers, imperiling the social net as the white population continues to gray.

I remember from my childhood that liberals used to be on board with the Malthusian population bomb thesis, and to think that declining populations would be a good thing. I guess that serious and cool-headed concerns about overpopulation got sacrificed on the altar of screeching about “Multiculturalism!” and “Nation of immigrants!” since then.

On that note, I also don’t get why, if they are still concerned about overpopulation, cultural liberals would want to apologize for a cultural worldview that promotes high birth rates.

#28 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On June 14, 2016 @ 12:32 pm

In other words, based on frequency, it is infinitely more likely that a white man, rather than a man espousing radical Islam, will commit a mass shooting.

You do realize that there are a lot more white Christians than Muslims in America, right? (Islam is not a race, you can be white and Muslim).

Relative to their population, Muslims in this country do commit a disproportionate amount of terrorism. (Likewise, muslims in Europe commit a wildly disproportionate amount of crime, particularly rape).

#29 Comment By JonF On June 14, 2016 @ 1:49 pm

Noah,
I have no idea what Pulse’s floor plan and physical appointments are like. But I can easily think of more than one public place here in Baltimore where a well-armed shooter could easily rack up a similar toll. Imagine a fairly open space (few places to take shelter) with just two exits– the regular entrance/exit and an emergency one. Most people would have no instinct or reflex for the latter, and many would have only the vaguest sense of where it is. If the shooter positioned himself near the regular exit with a large crowd in the space (especially if the crowd is intoxicated) it would be very easy for him to cause huge mayhem.

#30 Comment By JonF On June 14, 2016 @ 1:54 pm

Re: . That Omar Mateen is here is a result of our immigration policy.

You can say the same about all of us, except full-blooded Native Americans. My 17th century Puritan ancestors who landed in Massachusetts Bay Colony are in part responsible for the fact that I am here now. Is there a statute of limitations on such things? Or if someday some descendant of the Pilgrims goes on a murder binge are we going to hold them– and old King James– to blame?

#31 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On June 14, 2016 @ 3:07 pm

Dancergirl: “Why in the world would I come here and lie, for heaven’s sakes? What’s the upside?”

Orwell’s answer to your questions is hard to beat:

“In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense. And what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?”
******************
1)Two plus two makes four.
2)Islam is not a religion of peace.
3)The contributions of Muslims are miniscule, particularly compared to the contributions of the many civilizations they annihilated (Byzantine, Persian, Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, among others).
4) War is not peace, freedom is not slavery, ignorance is not strength.

#32 Comment By Noah172 On June 14, 2016 @ 4:22 pm

JonF wrote:

If the shooter positioned himself near the regular exit with a large crowd in the space (especially if the crowd is intoxicated) it would be very easy for him to cause huge mayhem

But consider:

Moving targets (hundreds)

(Presumably) dark, noisy location (with distracting spotlights, colored lights, etc.)

Risk of being physically overpowered (especially from behind, or when reloading)

Risk that someone in the crowd is armed

High proportion of kills among casualties (meaning high proportion of shots hitting “center mass,” neck, or head — thus meaning at least decent marksmanship)

I reiterate, Mateen’s casualty count was frighteningly impressive — larger than any single shooter’s.

#33 Comment By Sands On June 14, 2016 @ 4:54 pm

Jerry,

How you feel people should respond to terrorist attacks (and in Europe it’s much more than just terrorist attacks) and how they actually respond are two different things. After the 9/11 attacks, completely rational people like Rod supported the irrational Iraq war. Emotions are very powerful and can easily overcome rational thought.

I find it strange that you fear Christian violence. I’m a lifelong Texan who lives in a rural part of the state that can be considered, culturally anyway, part of the Deep South, and my atheism has never caused me problems. And we certainly don’t have to worry about the government rounding us up. Please, don’t overplay the atheist card here. We are in no way an oppressed minority.

As far as the US being a Christian country, and the many liberties we enjoy because of it, I’ll give you an excerpt from Edmund Burke’s Speech on Conciliation with America he gave to the House of Commons in 1775.

“Religion, always a principle of energy, in this new people [American colonists] is no way worn out or impaired; and their mode of professing it is also one main cause of this free spirit. The people are Protestants; and of that kind which is the most adverse to all implicit submission of mind and opinion. This is a persuasion not only favourable to liberty, but built upon it.”

#34 Comment By Noah172 On June 14, 2016 @ 5:30 pm

Rich S:

Cons:
– Society sanctions the idea that treating someone differently purely on the basis of their religion is acceptable.

“Someone”? Foreigners.

In 2030, President Chelsea Clinton (2030) signs the Love In Jesus act prohibiting the immigration of traditional Christians

Christians who are not US citizens have no right to enter (much less settle in) the terrority of the US. Ditto non-citizens of every other religious persuasion. Immigration is a privilege.

Plenary power: look it up.

Our country, not theirs, nuff sed.

#35 Comment By Michael Guarino On June 14, 2016 @ 10:11 pm

The majority of deaths in mass shootings, post-9/11, have been caused by individuals who were inspired by radical Islamism. This did not become true until Orlando. (Speaking of numbers, if the AR-15 had been equipped with a smaller capacity magazine, he probably wouldn’t have been able to murder quite so many people.

This analysis is garbage because using 9-11 as the cut-off date is completely arbitrary. Include it, and you simply have far more deaths at the hands of Islamic terrorists than any number of attacks by the “right” using the most tendentious definition possible. Moreover, this is reflective of the fact that Islamic attacks inherently have greater tail risks, because jihadists see themselves at war with the West and desire its utter demise. Major, catastrophic attacks are baked into their intentions in a way that is not applicable to some losers who really don’t like Jews.

There is a good reason why people prioritize Islam as the source of terror in the 21st Century, and poor data analysis is not going to will that away.

#36 Comment By Michael Guarino On June 14, 2016 @ 10:15 pm

Relative to their population, Muslims in this country do commit a disproportionate amount of terrorism. (Likewise, muslims in Europe commit a wildly disproportionate amount of crime, particularly rape).

A quick perusal of the UN’s list of designated terror groups will show that Muslims contribute a disproportionate amount of terrorism globally as well.

[NFR: Samuel Huntington caused a ruckus when he referred to “Islam’s bloody borders” to make this exact point. — RD]

#37 Comment By Michael Guarino On June 14, 2016 @ 10:35 pm

-The GOP Congress has fought to allow people on the terrorist watch list to buy assault weapons. Because… Well-regulated militia?

I’m sure this makes sense to a lot of Republicans, but it does not make sense to me.

For what it’s worth, I am generally pretty sanguine about gun ownership and think that a lot of liberal handwringing about its effect on crime rates is quite empirically uninformed, but this is actually a decent policy. It would be appropriately targeted, so you don’t spread downside on innocent parties, and it would plainly take away a new method of attack for terrorists.

The big problem is the due process issues involved (who compiles the blacklist and is the process fair enough to deny a constitutional right, whether you think the right should exist or not). If that could be resolved, I would support it.

#38 Comment By Aaron Gross On June 15, 2016 @ 12:25 am

DancerGirl, if you’re going to broaden the argument from mass shootings to all the good things that Muslim immigrants and their descendants contribute, then you have to consider as well all the bad things that Muslim immigrants and their descendants contribute, not just mass shootings. Once we do that, I think mass shootings will be relatively unimportant to the argument over pros and cons.

#39 Comment By Michael Heraklios On June 15, 2016 @ 12:38 am

Janwaar Bibi:

1)Two plus two makes four.
2)Islam is not a religion of peace.
3)The contributions of Muslims are miniscule, particularly compared to the contributions of the many civilizations they annihilated (Byzantine, Persian, Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, among others).
4) War is not peace, freedom is not slavery, ignorance is not strength.

You ran away from one of my posts in another thread, and now I see you’re going around each blog post quoting from Orwell and furthering venting out your animus towards all of Islam.

The more you open your mouth, the more you prove the point I made in another post: people who have been oppressed by a certain group unfortunately tend to carry on hatred towards said group and have too much baggage to engage in any reasoned discourse, as that hatred lasts for generations on end. It’s sorta like when a specific group of black Americans blame the white man for all their problems, or the Greeks blame the Turks for their inability to be on par with the rest of Europe, and speaking of which:

You say that the Muslims annihilated Byzantine Civilization – you do realize that Byzantium was pretty as good as dead on the eve of the Turkish conquest? It had become a backwater city-state, a shell of its former self.

And here’s the dirty little secret that many Greeks (and unfortunately some deluded ultranationalist Turks) won’t tell you: Do you know where the majority of the descendants of the Byzantines are today?

MODERN DAY TURKEY!
They didn’t disappear; they just converted to Islam and became Turks, since the Greeks would no longer accept them as Greeks. Even Mehmet II was half-Greek, and he actually had Greek Muslim converts in his army when he conquered the city.

We ARE the Byzantines, and I am just as proud of that heritage as I am of the Ottomans (despite any and all flaws they may have had).

To this day, I’m always confused for one of two ethnicities when people see me: Italian or Greek.

This is what happens when politics and historical grievances overshadow readings of history – inconvenient facts get obscured.

And I don’t give a rat’s ass whether or not my ancestors converted to Islam willingly. I accept it as the truth, I stand by it, and I will make no apologies for it.

#40 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On June 15, 2016 @ 12:24 pm

Heraklios writes: “It’s sorta like when a specific group of black Americans blame the white man for all their problems, or the Greeks blame the Turks for their inability to be on par with the rest of Europe.”

False analogy. The final solution of Islam’s problem with “kaffirs” is ongoing *today* from Nigeria to Bangladesh. This is not a historical event from 200 years ago – genocide, ethnic cleansing, and forced conversions are being carried out by Muslims on non-Muslims in the 21st century.

In a world that is becoming more multicultural, Islamic countries have become monocultural – countries like Pakistan, Turkey, Bangladesh, and Egypt, which had millions of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews and others within living memory, are now all more than 90% Muslim, and some of them, like Pakistan and Turkey, are now 99% Muslim. Calling these “historical events” is an attempt to cover up these ongoing crimes against humanity.

Finally, I stand by my statement that the contributions of Islam to the world are miniscule compared to the contributions of the civilizations they destroyed. Most claims to the contrary from people like Obama and dancergirl – everything from “various Nobel prizes” to the invention of “Arabic” numerals to the invention of “algorithms” (!!) – can be disproved by five minutes of research.

Muslims do not interest me. For that matter, Islam does not interest me – it is a belief system invented to sanctify looting by desert bandits (chapter 8 of the Koran is titled “Al-Anfal” (English:Loot)), venomous to the modern world until it has been reformed.

But paraphrasing something Trotsky said, we may not be interested in Islam; unfortunately Islam is very interested in us. Until recently, one of the many joys of living in the US as opposed to India is that one could go through an entire day without hearing the words “Muslim”, “Islam”, “riots”, “jihad”, and “terrorism”. Sadly, those days are now numbered.

#41 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On June 15, 2016 @ 12:30 pm

Christians who are not US citizens have no right to enter (much less settle in) the terrority of the US. Ditto non-citizens of every other religious persuasion. Immigration is a privilege.

Plenary power: look it up.

On a more general level, I don’t in principle have a problem with a country deciding who will or will not be allowed to immigrate there, including on ethnic or religious grounds. Pakistan, to take one example, was founded explicitly as a Muslim homeland. Muhammad Ali Jinnah (for whom I have a lot more respect and admiration now than I used to) was prophetic in pointing out that multiculturalism generally doesn’t work all that well. If Pakistan today was richer than india- as it in fact was up until the mid 1990s- and if 30 million Indian Hindus or for that matter 30 million African Christians wanted to migrate to Pakistan, I’d fully expect the Pakistani government and people to have a problem with that, and I’d defend their right to say, ‘we really only want Muslims, please’.

America is of course not a religiously or ethnically based country, which makes a big difference. Deciding that we are going to be a tribal nation rather than a propositional one would be a big break with our past history, for better or worse. I’m not taking a position on whether we should do that, but it would make us into a different country than we have been. But I think there is a knock down solid argument for European countries, some of them anyway, to resist mass immigration, particularly of ethnic or religious groups that are very different than the native populations of those countries.

#42 Comment By Michael Heraklios On June 15, 2016 @ 2:27 pm

Janwaar Bibi:

“False analogy. The final solution of Islam’s problem with “kaffirs” is ongoing *today* from Nigeria to Bangladesh. This is not a historical event from 200 years ago – genocide, ethnic cleansing, and forced conversions are being carried out by Muslims on non-Muslims in the 21st century.”

“Final solution”? Talk about false analogies my friend.

All those examples you mentioned are not at all simple black and white situations. You’re forgetting atrocities committed by the other side (a quick google search can document atrocities committed by fanatical Christian militias in Africa against Muslims and vice versa), in addition to the cultural, historical, and political contexts in which these conflicts take place (Nationalism especially had a huge influence, especially in Egypt and Pakistan. Another example, in Turkey, Kemalist secularism was quite aggressive, if not hostile at times, towards Islam but that did not change the fact that Kemalism is primarily responsible for the merger of Turkish identity and Islam, ironically.

It’s true that some situations in some of these countries have been exacerbated by the Saudi brand of Islam, that unfortunately has been financed by our oil money, but that still does not discount any of the above.

You’ve made up your mind about Islam, and that’s fine. But as far as I’m concerned, I can see right through your writing, and quite frankly, you’re a liar. You’re obsessed with Islam and Muslims out of personal grievance and no amount of showing off with quotes from Trotsky and co is going to hide that. Your last sentence makes it pretty obvious, and the fact that you go around every thread harping about the “Islamic” threat to a civilization that you yourself emigrated to (so you’re not native to the West, no matter how much you delude yourself into thinking you are) says a lot about your priorities.

Boo hoo, cry me a river.

And I completely agree with Hector St. Clare’s comment that in the long run, multiculturalism simply does not work. The West is now beginning to wake up to that reality.

#43 Comment By Jerry On June 15, 2016 @ 4:27 pm

Sands,

I’m not afraid of Christian violence — I merely pointed out that it is statistically more likely that I will be the victim of Christian violence than violence from Islamic terrorists. Interestingly, you think I would be foolish to fear the more likely danger, but you think we should all just accommodate the irrational fears of those who fear the less likely danger.

What I’m really trying to deter is the religious right’s explicit goal of turning the U.S. into a kind of soft theocracy where non-Christian religions aren’t actively persecuted, maybe, but Christians definitely have more rights than others, and the government gives Christian groups more accommodations than other groups. This would be a polity where, say, a corporation such as Hobby Lobby can prevent its employees from getting full medical coverage on the grounds of Christian beliefs; or the government prefers broad liberties for Christians, even when they infringe on gay rights, as Dreher would like; or the government gives preferential immigration status to Christian refugees over Muslim ones, as has been often suggested in this forum.

This “soft theocracy” is not likely to descend into active persecution of non-Christians, one hopes, but it does violate the letter and the spirit of the First Amendment. I think any weakening of First Amendment protections for minority religions is likely to put me, as an atheist, at a legal disadvantage. I don’t like the idea of the U.S. having first-class and second-class citizens; I’m acutely aware that I am likely to wind up in the second class. I also believe that, as a member of a religious minority, I have a responsibility to defend other religious minorities, because we will certainly defend our rights better if we present a common front against religious intolerance.

I don’t think that the religious conservatives who claim to be so angered and terrified about Islamic terrorism are really concerned about terrorism at all. Their proposals are never about actual practical efforts to fight terrorism. They always focus first on framing all conflicts within the Muslim world as the Judeo-Christian West versus all Muslims everywhere, for the sole purpose of promoting the narrative that “the United States is a Christian nation,” with the sole overall goal of increasing their own political power within the U.S.

Re Burke’s address to Parliament in 1775, I suppose the opinion of a long-dead foreigner of a country he never visited has some historical interest, but, given that Burke couldn’t possibly know of the diversity of religious opinion in the United States in the 21st century, I don’t see Burke’s views as a good reason why I should accept second-class status in the country I was born in.

#44 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On June 15, 2016 @ 7:47 pm

Heraklios, You did not contest my assertions about the collapse of non-Muslim populations in Islamic countries ranging from Turkey (99% Muslim) to Iraq (95% Muslim), Pakistan (99% Muslim) and Bangladesh (94% Muslim). What is this if not the final solution to Islam’s problems with “kaffirs”? Nor did you contest my statement that the Koran has an entire chapter on looting. Calling me names and what-about-ery are not arguments.

What you did do was to offer the usual platitudes that the bestial treatment of non-Muslims in all Muslim countries has nothing – nothing at all – to do with Islam, and that the root causes lie elsewhere in politics, nationalism, sunspots, dolphins etc. This is par for the course when arguing with True Believers in the Perfect Religion, and quite boring really. You guys really need to come up with some new excuses for your Perfect Religion.

There is no religion but Islam that still puts people to death for apostasy.
There is no religion but Islam that still puts people to death for blasphemy.
There is no religion but Islam that is still enslaving free people.
There is no religion but Islam that is still forcibly converting people of other religions.
There is no religion but Islam that still practices sexual slavery of girls of other faiths.

Facts are stubborn things.

[NFR: Are you guys going to stop? This is not going anywhere. — RD]